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Two years later, the Intel Hades Canyon mini PC is still the best and fastest NUC you can get

Two years later, the Intel Hades Canyon mini PC is still the best NUC you can get
Two years later, the Intel Hades Canyon mini PC is still the best NUC you can get
The 2018 Intel Hades Canyon NUC was one of the only bright spots to come out of the ill-fated Kaby Lake-G series. It continues to be both the most balanced and most powerful NUC available due largely to its atypical 100 W processor. We take a look back at the mini PC to see how it holds up against the latest laptops of 2019 and 2020.

As the successor to Skull Canyon, Hades Canyon represents an immense leap in performance with its unconventional Core i7-8809G package that integrates a discrete Radeon RX Vega M GH GPU to replace the Iris solution on its predecessor. The system even utilizes a vapor chamber cooler to maintain the small size that the NUC series is known for. It was marketed as the crown jewel of the Intel-AMD partnership at the time of launch and it's easy to see why when looking at its significant performance advantages over other NUCs to this day.

By today's standards, Hades Canyon is most comparable to the Core i5-9300H in CPU power while being about 15 percent behind the GeForce GTX 1650 in GPU power. This processor combination can commonly be found on budget gaming laptops like the Acer Nitro 5 or the MSI GP series that retail in the sub $1000 USD range. The GTX 1650 is no weak GPU, however, as it is able to run the latest titles in 1080p and to see the same on an older Intel NUC that's just a fraction of the size is impressive. Driver support is still fresh as well now that AMD has taken the reigns to ensure that the special Radeon GPU stays up to date with games and features including FreeSync.

Where Hades Canyon begins to show its age is in performance-per-watt. Running Witcher 3 on 1080p Ultra consumes a constant 122 W compared to just 95 W each on the 17.3-inch MSI GF75 and 15.6-inch Dell G3 with GTX 1650 graphics. In other words, the GTX 1650 is able to run games faster while consuming much less power in the process — an all too familiar conclusion when comparing GeForce Turing GPUs to Radeon Vega or Polaris GPUs in general.

Relative to other NUCs, however, there's no question that Intel has yet to top Hades Canyon in overall performance and performance per unit volume. The Intel-AMD processor balances CPU and GPU power extremely well despite being on an aging 14 nm package. The supposed delays on the next generation NUCs could mean that we'll have to wait a little longer for a successor to Hades Canyon. With Intel refocusing its efforts on Nvidia and Xe for the foreseeable future, a "true" Core i7-8809G successor will likely be a pipe dream.

Buy it now on Amazon - Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK (i7-8809G, Radeon RX Vega M GH)

Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
MSI GE65 Raider 9SF-049US
Intel Core i9-9880H
474 Points ∼89% +17%
MSI GF75 Thin 10SCXR
Intel Core i5-10300H
437 Points ∼82% +8%
Schenker XMG Pro 17 PB71RD-G
Intel Core i7-9750H
421 Points ∼79% +4%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 Turing
Intel Core i7-8750H
418 Points ∼79% +3%
MSI GF63 Thin 9SC
Intel Core i5-9300H
418 Points ∼79% +3%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
404 Points ∼76%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
382 Points ∼72% -5%
HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ec0002ng
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
344 Points ∼65% -15%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
340 Points ∼64% -16%
CPU (Multi Core)
MSI GE65 Raider 9SF-049US
Intel Core i9-9880H
3505 Points ∼35% +75%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 Turing
Intel Core i7-8750H
2340 Points ∼23% +17%
Schenker XMG Pro 17 PB71RD-G
Intel Core i7-9750H
2308 Points ∼23% +15%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
2005 Points ∼20%
MSI GF75 Thin 10SCXR
Intel Core i5-10300H
1906 Points ∼19% -5%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
1825 Points ∼18% -9%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1765 Points ∼18% -12%
MSI GF63 Thin 9SC
Intel Core i5-9300H
1737 Points ∼17% -13%
HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ec0002ng
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
1728 Points ∼17% -14%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GE65 Raider 9SF-049US
Intel Core i9-9880H
198 Points ∼88% +11%
MSI GF75 Thin 10SCXR
Intel Core i5-10300H
180 Points ∼80% +1%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
178 Points ∼79%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 Turing
Intel Core i7-8750H
174 Points ∼78% -2%
MSI GF63 Thin 9SC
Intel Core i5-9300H
173 Points ∼77% -3%
Schenker XMG Pro 17 PB71RD-G
Intel Core i7-9750H
173 Points ∼77% -3%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼71% -10%
HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ec0002ng
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
145 Points ∼65% -19%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
144 Points ∼64% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GE65 Raider 9SF-049US
Intel Core i9-9880H
1601 Points ∼37% +85%
Schenker XMG Pro 17 PB71RD-G
Intel Core i7-9750H
1116 (min: 974.99, max: 1115.73) Points ∼26% +29%
Schenker XMG Neo 15 Turing
Intel Core i7-8750H
1079 Points ∼25% +25%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
864 Points ∼20%
MSI GF75 Thin 10SCXR
Intel Core i5-10300H
839 (min: 755.39, max: 839.42) Points ∼19% -3%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
805 Points ∼18% -7%
MSI GF63 Thin 9SC
Intel Core i5-9300H
797 Points ∼18% -8%
HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ec0002ng
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
769 Points ∼18% -11%
Asus Zephyrus GX501
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
735 Points ∼17% -15%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop), R7 2700X
7732 Points ∼52% +166%
Maingear Vector 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
5534 Points ∼37% +90%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
4167 Points ∼28% +43%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 7700HQ
3572 Points ∼24% +23%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i5-9300H
3565 Points ∼24% +23%
Dell G5 15 5587
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-8300H
3510 Points ∼24% +21%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
2908 Points ∼19%
Asus TUF FX705GE-EW096T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
2536 Points ∼17% -13%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile, 7300HQ
1681 Points ∼11% -42%
2560x1440 Time Spy Score
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop), R7 2700X
7878 Points ∼53% +154%
Maingear Vector 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
5697 Points ∼39% +84%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
4024 Points ∼27% +30%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 7700HQ
3621 Points ∼25% +17%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i5-9300H
3573 Points ∼24% +15%
Dell G5 15 5587
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-8300H
3559 Points ∼24% +15%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
3096 Points ∼21%
Asus TUF FX705GE-EW096T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
2571 Points ∼17% -17%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile, 7300HQ
1793 Points ∼12% -42%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop), R7 2700X
19338 Points ∼48% +89%
Maingear Vector 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
14718 Points ∼36% +44%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
12111 Points ∼30% +18%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
11754 Points ∼29% +15%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 7700HQ
11483 Points ∼28% +12%
Dell G5 15 5587
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-8300H
10970 Points ∼27% +7%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
10248 Points ∼25%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i5-9300H
9536 Points ∼23% -7%
Asus TUF FX705GE-EW096T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
7791 Points ∼19% -24%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile, 7300HQ
6375 Points ∼16% -38%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop), R7 2700X
16267 Points ∼55% +91%
Maingear Vector 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
13140 Points ∼44% +54%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
10080 Points ∼34% +19%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 7700HQ
9739 Points ∼33% +14%
Dell G5 15 5587
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-8300H
9405 Points ∼32% +11%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
8506 Points ∼29%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i5-9300H
8075 Points ∼27% -5%
Asus TUF FX705GE-EW096T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
6989 Points ∼24% -18%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile, 7300HQ
5460 Points ∼18% -36%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop), R7 2700X
13742 Points ∼61% +32%
Maingear Vector 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
12192 Points ∼54% +17%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
10391 Points ∼46%
Dell G5 15 5587
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-8300H
8788 Points ∼39% -15%
Asus TUF FX705GE-EW096T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
8540 Points ∼38% -18%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 7700HQ
7696 Points ∼34% -26%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i5-9300H
7595 Points ∼34% -27%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
7436 Points ∼33% -28%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
6931 Points ∼31% -33%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile, 7300HQ
6265 Points ∼28% -40%
1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop), R7 2700X
26413 Points ∼52% +85%
Maingear Vector 15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H
19670 Points ∼38% +38%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
17668 Points ∼35% +24%
MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK
AMD Radeon RX 5500M, R7 3750H
16339 Points ∼32% +14%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, 7700HQ
14550 Points ∼28% +2%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
14302 Points ∼28%
Dell G5 15 5587
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-8300H
13871 Points ∼27% -3%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i5-9300H
13447 Points ∼26% -6%
Asus TUF FX705GE-EW096T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
9466 Points ∼19% -34%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile, 7300HQ
8047 Points ∼16% -44%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
i7-8809G, Vega M GH, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA, , x,
MSI GF75 Thin 10SCXR
i5-10300H, GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Maingear Vector 15
i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, , IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Schenker XMG Pro 17 PB71RD-G
i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
4%
-23%
-19%
14%
Idle Minimum *
15.5
13
16%
16.2
-5%
11
29%
4.9
68%
Idle Average *
16.2
15.7
3%
21.1
-30%
18
-11%
8.1
50%
Idle Maximum *
16.5
21
-27%
26.4
-60%
28
-70%
16.5
-0%
Load Average *
83.4
87
-4%
85.1
-2%
99
-19%
109.2
-31%
Load Maximum *
173.5
145.8
16%
188
-8%
210
-21%
175.2
-1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
121.7
96.4
21%
158.2
-30%
146
-20%
124.6
-2%

* ... smaller is better

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Two years later, the Intel Hades Canyon mini PC is still the best and fastest NUC you can get
Allen Ngo, 2020-04-24 (Update: 2020-04-26)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.